I have always wanted to make this train journey, and to see polar bears in Churchill. Well, I finally did it. It was worth the time and the costs, not to mention fun.
The polar bear season is very short, about 6 weeks, and everything in Churchill is expensive. Lodging is on par with Norway (!) so keep this in mind if you ever want to go there. But remember that you come here to see the bears. It’s an aMAzing experience to see these magnificent animals in their natural habitat. You’ll immediately forget about the cold and the costs.
The train is old and worn out but has still got it. You are assigned a time window for lunch and dinner. You will share the table with someone new at every meal and you can’t choose where you want to sit. All the employees are pleasant and courteous.
It is absolutely possible to go to Churchill and see the bears independently, as in not being a part of an organised tour. Plan in advance and do lots of research because it is so expensive. Most people are with an organised tour, and the operators block book the lodging and flight or train in advance.
Everything has to be brought in by train and plane. Didn’t see any native places. Actually, I hardly saw any native folks in Churchill. Such a stark difference in Winnipeg, on the plane to Rankin Inlet, and in Rankin Inlet itself.